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RETOUCHING ■ CHAPTER
Figure 6.30 The final retouch
When you mention retouching, people often think about the impossibly flawless highfashion models and cover girls they see in magazines. In this type of photography, there is no real attempt to be realistic. Instead, photographers try to create a believable impossibility. Flawless skin is expected; but at the same time, the skin shouldn’t look like plastic. Often, the challenge is to create this effect with subjects that are not even close to ideal raw material. You’ll need to know how to completely reconstruct the skin if an assignment calls for it. Of course, nothing is impossible nowadays.
31). however. we will work with the shot of an attractive woman in her fifties (Figure 6. no longer 20 years old.In this example.31 This woman is still beautiful. . 203 ■ BEAUTY RETOUCHING Figure 6. She is.
higher Threshold settings have a greater blurring effect. actors. The Radius slider controls the intensity of the blur.32 Duplicate the background to a new layer by dragging to the New Layer icon. so let’s rename the layer (by double-clicking the Background Copy name next to the new thumbnail) and call it Surface Blur (Figure 6.33).32).34). CHAPTER 6: Figure 6.In our youth-obsessed culture. but it also manages to create a very smooth blur. and actresses. Choose Filter > Blur > Surface Blur (Figure 6. . we are going to duplicate the background image by dragging the thumbnail in the Layers palette to the New Layer icon. In this case. musicians. it is not surprising that photographers are asked to take 30 years off the faces of various authors. and the Threshold slider controls how much of the image stays sharp. Because television and movies are still such low resolution. 204 RETOUCHING ■ Figure 6. You’ll want to adjust the sliders so that you can completely smooth the wrinkles and skin texture while leaving major features intact (Figure 6. Unlike other blur filters. I’m not about to burst anyone’s bubble here. As always. This blur maintains the major edge transitions. people often are unaware just how old some of their favorite idols are. we’ll start by making a new layer. Surface Blur is a new Photoshop CS2 filter that is especially useful in this application. The strategy here is to blur this copy as the basis for the new skin.33 The Surface Blur filter is perfect for smoothing the skin. so we are going to completely rebuild this woman’s skin.
although not quite as good.205 ■ BEAUTY RETOUCHING Figure 6. but you can get a similar.This filter has only one slider.34 Skin and other textures are completely smoothed with the application of Surface Blur. the next best choice is the Median filter (Filter > Noise > Median). Note: For Photoshop CS users. smoothing effect. .
. 206 RETOUCHING ■ CHAPTER Now simply paint into the layer mask with white to cover the areas of skin that you want to smooth (Figure 6. lips.—until you’ve covered up all the “bad” skin.37). click the Eye icon next to the Background thumbnail in the Layer palette (Figure 6. You can toggle off the visibility of the Background layer to see if there are any holes. 6: Figure 6. Hold down the Option/Alt key and click the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette (Figure 6.38. To do so. The area you are working on can be difficult to see if you’ve covered everything.35). Carefully paint around all the areas you need to keep—the eyes.36 Paint into the layer mask with white to cover the skin with the blurred copy.35 Option/Alt+click the Layer Mask icon to create a Black layer mask. you should have something that looks like Figure 6.We will hide this Blur layer with a layer mask. At this point. This action creates a Black layer mask and hides the Blur layer while revealing the original image. Figure 6. etc.36).
Figure 6.38 Work carefully so that you smooth the wrinkled skin. but keep other features sharp.37 To check for holes. toggle the visibility of the Background layer.207 ■ BEAUTY RETOUCHING Figure 6. .
this time we covered the original skin with a blurred copy and paint. Option/Alt+click the New Layer icon at the bottom . Now we want to create a Dodge And Burn layer and dodge out any unattractive wrinkles that are left—this is very similar to what we did before. To fix this. Figure 6. Take a large soft brush.41). Select the Blur layer by clicking the thumbnail in the Layers palette.40 Use a large paint brush at low opacity to smooth the colors and even the tones. Check the Use Previous Layer To Create Clipping Mask box (Figure 6.40). you’ll want to bring back some hint of the underlying skin. make a new layer.The skin will be smooth. However. This will allow the mask in the underlying layer to control the new Paint layer. sample colors from the blurred skin (Option/Alt+click to turn the cursor into an Eyedropper and sample a color).39). but Option/Alt+click the New Layer icon to bring up the New Layer Options dialog.39 Check the Use Previous Layer To Create Clipping Mask box when you create the new Paint layer. but the colors and tone might be a little blotchy looking. 208 RETOUCHING ■ CHAPTER 6: Figure 6. This technique is similar to the one we used on my face. Push the Opacity slider to the left a bit to bring back some of the underlying layer (Figure 6. At this point. and paint with a very low opacity to gradually smooth out the color and tones (Figure 6.
you’ll need to add more texture to the skin. In Figure 6.43). Check the Uniform and Monochromatic boxes. This will fill the New Layer with 50 percent gray. The Layers palette should look like Figure 6. To keep the image from looking too plastic.45). At this point. The last three layers created are being controlled by the opacity and layer mask of the Surface Blur layer. I’ve experimented with all kinds of different approaches. select Overlay from the Mode dropdown. You won’t see any of the original texture. you can see what Soft Light looks like if it is applied as a Normal layer.44. You will also see the dodge lines where you lightened the wrinkles. Check the Use Previous Layer To Create Clipping Mask box.41 Reduce the opacity of the Blur layer to bring back some of the original texture. and add enough noise to make the image begin to look as if it were shot with Tri-X film (Figure 6. the subject’s skin appears to be very smooth with just a hint of its original skin texture. create a new Gray Overlay layer. I’ll continue to experiment until I find one I like better. but you will be able to see the new texture you are about to create. You want to keep using the mask you created with the Blur layer. Use the Dodge tool to dodge away wrinkles. . Select the Overlay Texture layer and run the Noise filter on it (Filter > Noise > Add Noise). Once again.209 ■ BEAUTY RETOUCHING Figure 6. This will bring up the New Layer dialog.42. and check the Fill With Overlay Neutral Color (50% gray) box (Figure 6. Option/Alt+click the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette to bring up the New Layer dialog. temporarily push the Opacity slider for the Blur layer back to 100 percent. To get a better idea of how the Texture layer is going to affect things. Make sure you check Use Previous Layer To Create Clipping Mask. and then check the Fill With Soft-Light-Neutral Color box. Although I’m not completely satisfied with the following technique. of the Layers palette. it is my current favorite technique for adding artificial skin texture. you can temporarily turn off the visibility of this layer if you find it distracting. Change the Mode to Soft Light.
CHAPTER 6: Figure 6. Figure 6.210 RETOUCHING ■ Figure 6. change the opacity of the Surface Blur Layer back to 100 percent. .42 The gray Soft Light layer can be used to iron away wrinkles.44 After you create the Overlay Texture layer.43 The Gray Overlay layer will have no effect on the image until you add texture to it.
You have to develop a feel for this. Figure 6.46). The ideal value in the filter dialogs depends on the size and resolution of the file. . and sometimes you have to make a test print to judge a subtle effect such as noise.45 Add obvious noise.46 Soften the noise with a Gaussian Blur filter. but this noise is too sharp for our purposes. use just enough Blur to soften the edges of the noise without completely smoothing it out (Figure 6. run a Blur filter (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur). no hard rules can apply to all images.211 ■ BEAUTY RETOUCHING Figure 6. With the Gray Overlay Texture still selected. Many photographers would stop here. As such.
48).Sometimes this is all you really need to do. but I usually like to create a slightly more complex texture to simulate real skin. run the Emboss filter (Filter > Stylize > Emboss). .47 Run the Emboss filter to get a more three-dimensional effect. You can modify any filter right after you’ve run it by using the Fade command.48 Fade the Emboss filter to soften the effect. 6: Figure 6. Go to the Edit menu (immediately after running the filter) and choose Edit > Fade Emboss (Figure 6. 212 RETOUCHING ■ Figure 6. To do so. so you need to soften it a bit. CHAPTER This still looks too fake.47. See Figure 6.
50 The original photo reveals that the subject has had a long life with a lot of sunshine.49.Return to the Surface Blur layer and reduce the opacity to 70 percent or so.49 The artificial texture combined with a hint of the original texture creates a convincing effect. compare this with the skin that hasn’t been retouched (Figure 6.50). . Figure 6. You should have something similar to Figure 6. 213 ■ BEAUTY RETOUCHING Figure 6.
51). I brightened the eyes (enlarged the pupils). brushed in some subtle eye shadow color.52).For the final retouched version.51 The final retouched version has some edge burning and a little eye makeup added. and performed a little edge burning (Figure 6. Because all of the retouching was performed in layers that are controlled by the Surface Blur layer. 214 RETOUCHING ■ CHAPTER 6: Figure 6. . you can reduce the opacity of that layer a little more if you want a more realistic rendering (Figure 6.
52 Reducing the opacity of the Surface Blur layer brings back some of the real skin and still manages to hide most of the wrinkles.215 ■ BEAUTY RETOUCHING Figure 6. .